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My first Head-Fi post = Needing help selecting a balanced over ear headphone!

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by denverdrew, Dec 29, 2012.
  1. DenverDrew
    UPDATED 12-30-2012!
    Hello everyone at Head-Fi! I finally broke down and created an account here after stalking your forums far too many times.  I'm a fledgling audiophile just sticking my toes in the water for the first time at 29.  I can already see this is going to be another dangerous hobby for me behind boutique guitar and bass pedal and vinyl collecting.
    I am completely overwhelmed right now looking for my first really nice set of cans.  I currently use an old set of Bose Triports (now they are the AE2 headphones) at home for my computer and for recording podcasts.  These are my only headphones that I own costing over $20 so are really my baseline for higher end headphone sound.  
    Here is my situation:
    Primarily I will be using these for listening to FLAC music through Poweramp, streaming with Spotify, and listening to podcasts on my Galaxy S3 for 8-10 hours per day. Comfort is a must but a nice even sound quality is my highest priority (Beats by Dre need not apply).  I will also be plugging these into my hifi at home to listen to my ever expanding vinyl collection. As I will be using these so much at work minimal sound leak is a big requirement.  I listen to a variety of podcasts and some are NSFW (What, Joe Rogan Experience) so keeping my coworkers unawares is probably for the best.  A bit of sound isolation to keep their racket down while I jam out is also preferable.  I don't mind having to amp these headphones but the total cost of the entire package shouldn't go over $250.  If a REALLY strong case is made for one headphone or phone+amp at $300 i might be persuaded......
    Priorities in order:
    Sound Quality, balanced and full
    Don't care much about how they look, heck I contemplated the Koss PortaPro before deciding to use them for work too.
    Good sound isolation/minimal sound leak
    Music taste:
    Funk, rock/jambands, soul, blues, brass bands, jazz.  A typical day of listening might start with some Black Keys and Zeppelin, move to Marvin Gaye and Al Green, shift to Youngblood Brass Band, on to Medeski Martin & Wood, on to barbershop quartets and acapella choirs, to Daft Punk or Beastie Boys, to finish with some Wagner or Beethoven. I will literally listen to anything and everything which I know makes this difficult.  I even tried listening to a couple songs from that Justin Beiber kid (underwhelming I assure you, imho skip it.)
    So far I'm looking at:
    1. V-Moda M-80 (or if a compelling case is made m100)
    2. AKG K271 MKii
    3. AKG K550
    1. Shure SRH840 (or if a compelling case is made the 940)
    2. Harmon Kardon CL
    3. Logitech UE6000 (thanks for the recommendation Innerfidelity)
    4. Sol Republic Ultra
    1. ATH-M50s(LE) (too bass heavy?)
    2. Sennheiser HD 558 (too leaky?)
    Let me know what you think of these and if I've overlooked a great option.  If I can't decide on one my backup is the Klipsch s4a iem for simplicity's sake.  Thanks in advance everyonE!
  2. KG Jag
    I'm not familiar with some of your equipment.  In any case if you do not get an answer, you might want to post here:
  3. BillsonChang007
    Sol Republic Ultra atill not up to what you are looking for. Although I never audition those before I can feel them being bass heavy.

    If you can afford going for V-Moda M100 it is definately a good choice. Check out the review from Innerfidelity.

    ATH-M50, definately not a good choice. Too much bass & uncontrolled, mids are recessed & highs are clear. I would only recommend these for those who just got started with audio world & within it's budget.[Personal Experience]

    Sennheiser HD558 is an good idea but do leaks sound.[Personal Experience with HD518, HD598 who has similar sound to HD558]

    Shure SRH-840 aren't comfortable :/ [Personal Experience. With SRH-440. I find the SRH-440 & SRH-840 has the same earpads thickness. It's extremely uncomfortable]

    AKG K550 is a good way to go. Extreme comfortable. Closed design(don't leak sound) but with open sound. It fits my tiny nerdy head pretty good. Pair it with an FiiO E6 would be nice :)
  4. shiorisekine Contributor
    I agree the K550 is a great headphone for all around music and the soundstage is not to wide that you cant listen to podcast. The K550 is the way to go with your situation, you might be able to find it for 250. But its worth 300. 
  5. DenverDrew
    Thanks for the responses so far. I had not even considered the k550 but clearly one to look into. Do those require an amp? I was eyeballing the fiio e6 already, good suggestion!

    I am fortunate that I have a friend who's a recording engineer to bounce this stuff off of in addition to you fine people here. He buddy brought his 271 (mki) set over for me to listen to and they were really excellent. Very comfortable and they felt secure but not tight around my head. I personally felt they could use an amp when plugged into my galaxy s3 so I didn't have to get so close to diming the volume when rocking out. How big of a difference is there between the k271 mkii and the k550? If I'm happy with the sound out of the 271, are the 550 gonna blow my mind or be only marginally better?

    Most importantly at what I would consider a very steep price point for my budget would the V-Moda M100 be a better choice than the AKG k550?

    Any thoughts on the UE6000? Innerfidelity had a glowing review and they would certainly save me a few dollars.
  6. DenverDrew
    I've made my choice.  Thanks again for the help.
  7. KG Jag
    Good luck and fill us in on what you selected & how it works out for you.

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